I will begin with the process of finding our new home. We are currently/still living in our 3rd rental home and the most expensive of the three. Although, the area we live in is higher in rent because of the demand, we still couldn’t fathom paying another $1450 a month if there was a slight chance we could purchase a home and put that money towards a mortgage. Initially, my husband and I had decided to try to purchase our current rental simply because we didn’t want to move again. We knew that was a possibility because when we moved into the house I had seen the house listed on Zillow for rent and for sale. However, the listing price for purchase was $129,000…you do the math on how much more we are paying a month for rent than the mortgage costs the owner. I’ll give you a hint, it’s WAY too much! Anyway, I decided to call my mom’s cousin who is the realtor that recently sold my parent’s house for advice on where to start, and thank goodness I did because my plan was all wrong. She set us up with an amazing mortgage lender based out of my hometown to first determine if and how much we could qualify for using my husband’s VA loan. I sent in our application on Sunday night, and Monday afternoon around 12:30, the mortgage lender called to say we’d been pre-approved! I could have hugged him if we wouldn’t have been on the phone. I immediately called my husband to tell him and then called the realtor, Vicki, my mom’s cousin. As I’m talking to Vicki about finding a local realtor to help us with purchasing our rental home, my husband sends me a text message that said something along the lines of, “Well do you wanna look at other houses now?” Ohh boy!
From that moment, I knew we needed to look at other houses. I mean this is supposed to be one of the biggest decisions of you’re life, and you can’t just decide to buy a house because you don’t want to move, right? So, Vicki set us up with one realtor who, well let’s just say it didn’t work out after about 12 hours of knowing each other, then another who was out for surgery, then Tricia. My husband and I both joke that we think God blessed us with Tricia. She had just recently got her real estate license and was switching careers completely. I actually admire her for that. Anyway, within the first phone call, I knew we were going to hit it off. She listened and commented on everything I said (and still does) and when she didn’t know the answer to something she quickly found it out and got back to me. I could go on and on about how amazing our experience was with her but I’ll get back to the house. Tricia scheduled our first house hunt on Saturday, July 27. We saw three houses which we all knew were not for us and then we saw the house on Merrimac. From the pictures online, I actually had not been that impressed other than it has great curb appeal. But, when we walked in the front door, I just knew that was meant to be our house. It had almost everything on our wishlist, a large kitchen, a formal entry, separate living and play areas, a wet bar, 4 bedrooms, a large fenced in yard, and a detached garage…which leads me to mention, my husband is also in a band that plays and practices quite frequently, hence the desire for a DEtached garage. It was missing one thing, a very important thing in my life actually, a large tub in the master bath. I know, it’s not the end of the world, but in my dream real life Barbie house, I need a luxurious tub to sink in to. This is where it gets good, I take a video of the current bathroom layout which is decent sized just long, and sent it to my dad, the contractor. Get where I’m going yet? My parents had told us for our wedding present they were going to give us a set amount for to add to the down payment on our first house. Well, luckily with the VA loan you do not need a down payment. So I ever so slyly (not) asked my dad if he would be willing to barter with his daughter, and in exchange for the cash, help me remodel my master bath. He laughed and said, “Of course!” Needless to say, I cried. That meant that after that remodel which is tentatively scheduled for Spring Break, our house will have everything we wanted…and within our budget!
At that point, we decided we didn’t need to see anymore houses and went home to “sleep on it”. When we woke up the next morning, I immediately asked my husband if he still loved the house like he did yesterday, and he so sweet,y asked, “Do you?” I, of course, said yes without a pause, and he said, “Then lets’s get it”. And here we are, first time homeowners, with a long list of personalizations and DIY projects ahead of us to create our real life dream home.